Degenerative myelopathy or ? in doggie - ?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by countrygrrrl, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I have an ancient German Shepherd girl who is having some problems.

    I'm taking her into the vet tomorrow to start figuring it out, but I have this awful feeling it'll turn out she has something called degenerative myelopathy --- I have this bad feeling because, over the past couple of weeks, I've noticed a slight difficulty getting up, I've seen her back toes curl under a few times and something's not quite right. I also know degenerative myelopathy is pretty common in German Shepherds.

    It's not too advanced now, if that's what it is. I've had her about a year and a half --- she was a mess when I got her, but is very buff now -- she eats well and easily keeps up running and romping with my 5 year old lab/ridgeback.

    And it might also be dysplasia or ???

    In any case, I'm curioius if anyone else has ever dealt with degenerative myelopathy in a German Shepherd. ? Any hints?
     
  2. bluetick

    bluetick Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could offer you hope regarding degenerative myelopathy. :(

    I adopted two adult female GSD's at different times from the same breeder. They were mother and daughter, and both developed it. The breeder was upset to learn of this problem in his line, and did some research into it. Although he was unable to determine exactly where it first occurred in their ancestry, he did learn it effected the females in that line.

    Unless things have changed in the past couple of years, I don't think there's a lot you can do. To assist your dog in getting around, you could use a towel under her belly as a sling to help her be mobile.

    Good luck! Its painful to watch the deterioration in an otherwise healthy, happy dog.
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..................As a general proposition, I believe that most large breed dog species have rear skeletal deterioration and loss of functional motility in their hind quarters with the onset of old AGE . My Akita male who will turn 11 the 20th. of this month has been experiencing this very problem which started in Jan. of this year. He is OK once he can get his rearend UP but he will crapout with very little force on his butt . So , when he walks down to my front fence in the evening to do the #2 thing I walk with him to make sure that he hasn't fallen down and become marooned in an area that is hidden from my field of vision . The vet says that over time it will get to a point that I will literally have to carry him all the time to get him to initiate any movement at all. And, of course, you will have to make a decision as to his quality of life issue and when to have him\her put too sleep . This is something I'm NOT looking forward Too . ....fordy.... :waa: :(
     
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    There is a horse medication called 'pheniyalbuthozone' (phonetically spelled) that helps, a large tab , just scrape offa bit to put in the food. Also, 'Knox' gelatin helps to ease their comfort by replacing the bone socket padding. A dusting in their food daily.
     
  5. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    bluetick, that's what I've heard. Hopefully, it's arthritis or ??? But I have a bad feeling it isn't.

    :waa: Poor girl. She's a big sweetie, too! In any case, I should know at least a little more tomorrow and maybe by the end of the week, I'll have some kind of diagnosis for her.
     
  6. Shahbazin

    Shahbazin Well-Known Member

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    A real quick reflex test (something the vet will probably do too) for DM is to take the dog's hind foot, while she is standing up, & turn it so she is standing on the knuckles instead of the pads. Does she feel that the foot is in the wrong spot, & turn the pads back down right away, or does she just stand there on her knuckles?
     
  7. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    She rights it immediately, Shabazin. :D

    BUT ... twice now, in about the past week, I've seen her toes curl under on her back legs. :no:

    Still, she's running around like a maniac with my lab/ridgeback.

    So ... we'll see. Let's hope it's just arthritis.
     
  8. Gayle in LA

    Gayle in LA Well-Known Member

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    <<<<<---------------vet here (cats only for 13 yrs). I used to see this when I did dogs..................DM in GSDs is not rare, and when I saw them there was no treatment at all. I do not know the current status of this disease wrt etiology/management. The big tip-off for diagnosis was always the dragging the toes. They start to wear the TOPS of the hind claws from dragging/toeing under. A sad disease with a sad end...................
     
  9. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    :dance: :dance: Okay, well I haven't been to the vet yet, BUT ...

    I got down on the floor with a flashlight and a magnifying glass ( :rolleyes: she's an all black girl and most of her toenails are black, as well, so yea --- it required a flashlight and a magnifying glass) AND ...

    There is no wear on the top of the nails. But it turns out, one of the nails on the outside of one foot is seriously cracked. I hadn't trimmed her nails in the past week or so, not since I first saw that foot turn under because she doesn't like it and I didn't want to stress her --- and silly me, I'd looked under the foot, felt between the pads but hadn't bothered to look directly AT THE NAILS.

    :rolleyes: I really do wonder about myself sometimes.

    In any case, it looks to me like it will take a vet to clean that nail up. And I've intended to have her checked for DM anyway, as she's just an ancient ancient girl. So although I'm now anticipating good news at the vet, she's getting the DM once-over anyway. And that nail clipped.

    :D
     
  10. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    Countrygrrl, check out http://www.sunshineband.org/forums - there's a poster there who lost her 15 year old GSD to DM after a VERY long battle last year, and another poster with an Aussie who is suffering from rear end paralysis of some sort- the two of them might be helpful in hearing about experiences and options.

    Cait
     
  11. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Wow! That's a nice site. :D

    I have a doggie forum I go to, but it's for hounds, which are very different from German Shepherds. I've been kind of looking for someplace for info on German Shepherds. So, even if she doesn't have DM, looks like a good place for some helpful info on caring for her, which is esp. important now because she's an older girl. :)
     
  12. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    :D

    Well, at this point in time, she has neither degenerative myelopathy or dysplasia. She did get put on an anti-inflammatory and we will keep an eye on her. But everything checks out.

    :D
     
  13. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Glad that turned out well CG.
    A co-worker's Dalmation, 14 yrs, was having horrid problems back in the winter and couldn't get up one morning. He figured he'd have to put him down. I told him if he was in pain to give him a couple of ibuprofen to ease the inflammation. He goes home gives him 2-3 aspirin and the next morning the dog was running around playing with his other one! I just love a happy ending!!! :p